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Benbros Qualitoys

310 Medium Crane

The illustrations on the first box which Benbros issued with the Medium Crane show an early version of a fairly basic model which used shared castings with the first Medium Excavator. These models were most likely created when the Benenson brothers were still trading as Pure Ruber Products before the creation of the Benbros name in June 1951 but they appear to have been issued as early models in the new Qualitoys range.


Cast using just four main parts, the first version of the Medium Crane had a hollow body coloured red or orange-red, a dark- or pale-green decorated base, four wheels instead of tracks, and a yellow jib with a weighted metal hook. The wheels were painted yellow or left unpainted. Within the body were two unpainted spindles with outside handles to control the strings which operated the jib and hook. It was a simple design but had good play value. There was no identification on the model.


Before long Benbros upgraded the Medium Crane. Most of the main toymakers in the 1950's & '60's produced a version of the Ruston-Bucyrus 10-RB Crane and it was this model which Benbros created to replace the first version of the crane.


Casting and assembling the Ruston-Bucyrus Crane involved several parts. The body was a single casting, the chassis or base another, the jib a third and the two long clamps holding the rollers in place two more. Add to these the rollers themselves, the inner lifting & lowering handles, the little pulley at the head of the jib, two lengths of string, the hook, '10-RB' decals, and the rubber tracks, and one quickly understands the complexity of toymaking!


Benbros made two variations of the link between the jib and body of the R-B Crane. The first type had a pin connection at the base of the jib in the same method which the first versions had used. The second variation had a 'slot-in' connection which may have made assembly a little quicker but to work well it depended on the model being upright and having some tension on the string.


The Ruston-Bucyrus crane was painted red & yellow with a dark-green jib and similar base. '10-RB' decals were added to both sides. 'Benbros' and 'Made in England' were cast under the body. The rollers were unpainted metal and the tracks grey rubber. The body and base were held together by a central rivet allowing 360º swivel.


On models with a jib/body connection using a pin, the winding handles were unpainted and could be on either side of the body, or both on the same side, usually the right-hand one. Later models with black handles had one on each side.  


Benbros issued the Medium Crane and the Medium Excavator models in shared boxes, and there were two very different designs. The first was a black & red end-flap one with drawings of the early versions of both models on the sides, with names and numbers added on the picture faces. The end-flaps had 'Benbros Qualitoy Made in England' printed with a blank panel for the model details at one end. However, it is probable that many models were sold unboxed, particularly as the first version Medium Crane did not easily fit into the first issue box!


The second box was larger and very different with pastel coloured illustrations of the two Ruston Bucyrus models on alternate sides with the model name (but no number) and 'Qualitoy' on each picture. The end-flaps had 'Benbros Qualitoy' and a central panel for model description (although this seems not to have been used much).


The first version of the Medium Crane is rare in good condition and even the Ruston Bucyrus model is quite scarce. Mint boxed models carry a premium value. The boxes are also hard to find, especially the second one.

Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane (1st version)

Variation 1: First version Crane, dark-green base, yellow pmw (string & hook not original)

Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane (First version)
Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane (First version)

Variation 2: First version Crane, dark-green base, umw, type 1 box

Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane (first version)
Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane (1st version)

Variation 4: First version Crane, pale-green base, umw

Benbros Qualitoys 310 Medium Crane



1)  RED body,  unpainted handles,  YELLOW jib,  DARK-GREEN base,  YELLOW painted mw

2)  RED body,  unpainted handles,  YELLOW jib,  DARK-GREEN base,  Unpainted MW

3)  RED body,  unpainted handles,  YELLOW jib,  PALE-GREEN base,  YELLOW painted mw

4)  RED body,  unpainted handles,  YELLOW jib,  PALE-GREEN base,  UnpaintedMW

5)  RED/YELLOW RB body,  unpainted handles,  green jib (PIN link),  DARK-GREEN base,  um rollers/grey tracks 


6)  RED/YELLOW RB body,  BLACK handles,  green jib (SLOT-IN link),  DARK-GREEN base,  um rollers/grey tracks

Benbros Qualitoy Medium Crane
Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane

Variation 5: RB Crane with pin-type jib link, um handles, type 1 box

Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane
Benbros Qualitoys Medium Crane
Benbros Qualitoy Medium Crane

Variation 6: RB Crane with slot-in jib link, black handles, type 2 box

Benbros Qualitoy Medium Crane : type 1 box
Benbros Qualitoy Medium Crane: type 2 shared box

The shared boxes: type 1 (top), type 2 (bottom)

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